Shortly after I launched Scholar’s Secret in August, 2009, a corporate reorg at my day-job meant all-new responsibilities for me. Overnight, I went from writing full-time to “managing projects”; and the resulting case of Right-to-Left-Brain Syndrome sent me reeling.
Thankfully, Psssssst! (the blog you’re reading right now) was there to fill the creative void. But little had I known then how important it is for those of us who teach writing to actually do it, too. Blogging, even “semi-frequently,” has taught me invaluable lessons that anyone who cares about writing – especially those who teach it – should know. Writing assessment experts Spandel and Stiggins* describe 7 great reasons why all writing teachers should write:
- “You’ll learn to dig” for information and for topics.” True! Keeping my fact-checking and idea-generating skills sharp helps me effectively teach those skills to others.
- “You’ll teach by example.” True! Sharing “work in progress” with my students gives them the chance to see that writing is indeed a process.
- “You’ll learn why writing often turns out different from how it began.” Actually, I’m still not sure why this happens. But at least I can commiserate with my students when it does.
- “You’ll get in touch with the process of revision.” True! I can honestly say that I never write a single Psssssst! without revising – many, many times!
- “You’ll become more sensitive about assessment.” True! Receiving feedback on my work has vastly improved my ability to give caring, actionable feedback to students.
- “You’ll learn not to take yourself too seriously.” True! Writing is an act of faith and humility: I try connecting with readers and sometimes I succeed. But definitely not always.
- “You’ll gain confidence.” So true! Putting my work “out there,” trying new things, and watching my portfolio grow have boosted my confidence beyond measure.
A few more reasons of my own:
- You’ll see due dates in an all-new light. And maybe even soften attitudes about the occasional “late” student assignment.
- You’ll engage your constituents. To forge relationships, I know I must communicate consistently – and a blog is a great way to do that.
- You’ve got a ready-made forum in which to showcase your students’ brilliance! For proof, take a look here and here!
Whether you’re a student, teacher, or other communicator, the reasons to write are many. Share yours by clicking on the headline above (or scrolling down this page). I look forward to hearing from you!
*Spandel, Vicki, and Richard J. Stiggins. Creating Writers: Linking Writing Assessment and Instruction. 2nd ed. New York: Longman, 1997. Print. (pp. 175-177)